muddy creek kennels
One year a fellow invited me and Daniel to go up and hunt with him at his family's hometown. I said "sure" we would be happy to go hunt with him. He said his Dad had a golfing buddy that farmed a couple of sections on a river and that they had a private trophy deer bow hunting club on the place. Turned out there was a cabin/lodge with everything needed to settle in. There was two miles of river bottomland with marsh grass and normal farming harvested bean/corn stubble. To top this off there were un-harvested 10-15 acre corn, soy bean and milo food plots here and there all over this place. It was one of those kind of places that at daybreak you could watch the pheasant flying around from place to place and in the evening the roosters were crowing everywhere.
This bow hunting club only deer hunted and for years no one had hunted these pheasant. But... this fellow's Dad was good enough friends with the owner that he made an exception to this rule and allowed us to do a little thinning of the over abundant pheasant population. When I say over abundant I am using the term loosely and when I say that we did a "little" thinning it is getting really loose. Try and picture pheasants that have never been hunted, being hunted by sure enough experienced pheasant dogs, that sure enough put the hammer on those sure enough uneducated birds. Needless to say we had a really good hunt and it was one of those more memorable times that comes to mind when you think about the times that you were really glad you were invited along!
We normally hunt out in Kansas. But, things are not so good out in Kansas lately for making memorable hunt entries in the old tally book. Between drought and clean farming practices t he pheasant hunting in Kansas is getting pretty sketchy. So I asked Daniel if he thought we ought to go up to South Dakota and do a little reconnoitering. Which leads to another "sometimes it just works out story".
I had been carrying around a name/number/address in my billfold of a brother/family farm of a man I know here in our part of the world. He gave me his brothers info years ago and said if we were ever up there stop by and tell him his brother said hi. I hadn't been up to South Dakota for several years and had had it in the back of my mind that if we did get up there I would see if we could locate this guys brother.
Me and Daniel and friend Carl got up there and from the motel owner/rural mail carrier, other hunters we met in the motel, people in the restaurant, and right on down to strangers at the gas station, no one told us to expect a good hunt. Drought had killed the young birds and the cover was bad. No water anywhere. So we got up the next morning hoping for the best. Before daylight we went and found the little eighty seven population town where my friends brother lived and found him by asking at a town hall/Quonset hut building with lights on. Two ladies were getting the voting booths, ballots, etc. ready for the big day. To quote the song BYE, BYE MISS AMERICAN PIE, November 6, 2012 as it happened turned out to be "the day the music died". Anyway we found the house. Were received openly and instruc ted as to where the farm ground was located. This was 7:00 AM. And as every one knows South Dakota makes it so that there is plenty of time for breakfast before it is time to let the dogs out to hunt. We went to the next town over and found a great restaurant. We got to visiting with the waitress and asked her if she knew any farmers. She said her Dad farmed and thought her husband would probably take off work and go hunting with us the next day. She called him and he said sure he would go hunting with us tomorrow.
We went back out to where we were going to hunt and drank a cup of coffee waiting on 10:00. A rooster and two hens ran across in front of the truck and we thought well there some birds anyway. At 10:00 we let the dogs out and started in a shelter belt that went completely around a half section. It was one of those old shelter belts 90 feet wide with several rows of Russian olives, cedars and sand plums. If I say how many pheasants were in that shelter belt you would think I was making it up as I go along. So I will just say there were a bunch. They all flew across the road into a quarter section of horse weed and cat tails. There was a big pond that still had water in it. All the pheasants in the country had migrated to where there was water. We left and went to another piece of ground he said was his and guess what... another big pond. Same thing with the pheasants too. He said there were pheasant there he just failed say there were a thousand or so. I imagine you are getting the picture. We cleaned birds, ate lunch and headed in at 2:00.
Of course the next morning started out gloomy... The election reports were in and a sad day for America had began. We felt the despondency everywhere. People openly crying in the restaurant. People sitting with their heads in their hands. We didn't even have the comfort of knowing what the "immediate" future for us might hold. Committed to hunting with a complete stranger on no telling what kind of let down place from the day before and what lowly disappointments might be ahead to face/endure. An omen? But....ceasesers never wonder and wonders never cease. The waitress's husband turned out to be great guy and he brought along a friend. All the ground we hunted had not been hunted at all yet and... guess what? Pheasants. Lots of pheasants... I am not going to incriminate anyone, but... we did add another memorable hunt to the tally book and we did get to do a "little" thinning... Sometimes things just work out!